From my viewpoint, Vacation Bible School has always seemed like organized chaos. It’s like skating on ice that’s barely frozen. You know you’re headed for disaster but you just don’t know when. I love it, but it stresses me out with all the variables, intangibles, and fickleness of the children. And yet, if the truth be known, more kids have probably come to Christ through Vacation Bible School than any other form of evangelism. It really works and kids around the world love it.
Our mission team assisted First Baptist Parras in a mission VBS at a house in a community located on the northern end of town. This meant three of the five classrooms were outside—outside where there were all kinds of things going on—all kinds of distractions. Those distractions and interruptions were all possible opportunities for the enemy to steal the attention of a child and thus rob them of their moment of salvation—or so I thought. That week was a life-changing moment for me as I witnessed God’s power in the midst of what seemed like utter confusion.
Let me give you a taste of the chaos as I witnessed it. The VBS was literally steps off a dirt street
that suddenly became a main thoroughfare every afternoon. The tan colored dust blew continually, and then one afternoon it came a monsoon—with muddy water running like a river right through the middle of the VBS. The teachers and the kids didn’t miss a beat—it didn’t seem to bother them at all.
One afternoon a dump truck stopped at the end of the house and began to back up. The backup alarm began to beep, and it beeped, and it beeped, and it kept on beeping. All of a sudden the dump bed began to raise and a load of rocks came tumbling off not ten feet away from a table filled with VBS kids. The noise of the avalanche ended as a cloud of that perpetual dust erupted and then settled over everything. The teachers and the kids didn’t miss a beat—it didn’t seem to bother them.
But, the biggest interruption of the week happened every afternoon at the exact same moment. You could set your watch by him—with him being the “Ice Cream Man from Hell” as I know affectionately refer to him. Each evening he would show up with his ice cream cart and park it about 5 feet from the edge of the little kids’ table. And then…he would ring his infernal little bell every so often. It was one of those moments where I wished I knew just a few words in Spanish. But, the teachers and the kids didn’t miss a beat—it didn’t seem to bother them at all.
The things I saw as interruptions were nothing more than moments in life for these people. They were there for one purpose and that was to show the kids the love of Jesus Christ. In the dust, the mud, the beeping, and the bell ringing, God showed up. What seemed like chaos and confusion to me was nothing more than another opportunity for him to demonstrate the power of the Gospel and its ability to change lives. Eight kids and two adults met Jesus alongside that dusty road busy with movements of everyday life.
God reminded me that he could work in any situation where his people are faithful to proclaim and demonstrate his love. He is not limited to moments of silence and quiet introspection. He’s God! The interruptions of the enemy may disrupt us, but they never disrupt God. I’ve come away from this experience with a deeper appreciation for God’s power and love. He is the order in chaos—clarity in confusion—the life that changes the moment—the unlimited One erasing our own self-imposed limits. He’s God.
He is God, and I am not. Therefore, there really is no such thing as a disruption, an interruption, or chaos that can challenge the presence and the power of God. Once you come to grips with that my friend, you encounter a life-changing moment!